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A review of Red White & Blue (2010)

This article is a review of the motion picture "Red White and Blue". It is the latest hard and edgy thriller from writer-director Simon Rumley. The film is partly a slow-burning character study and partly a bloody revenge thriller. It has incurred comparisons with the work of Sam Peckinpah.

Psychologically charged

After scoring a sleeper hit with “The Living and the Dead,” the cult British writer and director Simon Rumley brings his audience another psychologically charged horror movie: “Red, White & Blue.” Amanda Fuller delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance as Erica. The latter is an emotionless nymphomaniac who is nursing serious emotional wounds. She fills the void in her life with meaningless, random one-night stands. One day, she meets Nate (Noah Taylor), an equally troubled Iraq war veteran. He is the only man that she met who does not immediately want to sleep with her. The two from an unexpected bond. However, one of Erica’s past sexual encounters with Franki (Mark Senter), a wannabe rock star with dreams of stardom, has devastating consequences for all three of them.

Film of two halves

This is a film which consists of two halves. Firstly, it is a powerful, slow-burning character study and secondly, kit is a hard-edged thriller, a slasher and a revenge movie. The film has drawn comparisons with the work of equally hard-edged and uncompromising film-makers such as Larry Clark and Sam Peckinpah. The influence of Wes Cravens' early work is also evident. The slow build-up may frustrate ‘gore hounds,’ but this is where the film works best. Fuller carries off some very difficult scenes with perfection. She depicts Erica as a vulnerable, difficult and yet, ultimately decent young woman.

Name to watch

Erica’s one night stand with Franki comes back to haunt her. When Erica goes missing Nate goes off in a pursuit which has bloody consequences. The subtleties and creepy stillness in the first half of the film are rather consumed by the blood and gore in the second half of the movie. This is where the film drifts into more familiar horror territory. While the film never quite hits the heights that it seemed to promise, the talents of Rumley cannot be denied. He has shown once again that he is a name to watch in the future.

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